Current Reactivation Approaches
There are a lot of articles one can find on reactivating dormant customers. Here is a small sample:
- Gone, but not forgotten: 5 ways to recapture inactive customers
- How To Win Back Dormant Customers
- 5 Customer Retention Strategies for Winning Back Dormant Customers
- How to Reactivate Dormant Customers and Get Them to Come Back
- How to reactivate dormant customer?
- Key Steps to Reactivate Lapsed Customers
- Customer Reactivation Marketing: Why and How to Do It
- Reactivate Your Inactive Subscribers Fast
- 5 steps to developing an effective reactivation strategy
There are some common themes as one reviews the articles. Reawakening dormant customers necessarily needs some form of push marketing. Typically, there will be limited information on dormant customers. Some form of identity will generally be available with the brand – either an email address or a mobile number. So, best options are SMS, push notification, WhatsApp or an email. Alternate options include using Google and Facebook to do 1:1 ad targeting with their ‘custom audience’ options. SMS can be expensive and has limitations with its text-only format. Push notification needs the presence of an app on the recipient’s mobile – which may be unlikely since dormant customers may have either uninstalled the app or turned off notifications.
WhatsApp is also expensive to send and has limitations on the type of messages that can be sent. Push ads can also be quite expensive. That leaves email as one of the best channels for reactivation of dormant customers.
Typical advice includes: data analysis, segmentation, offers, samples, personalisation, experiment with different subject lines, invite to events, send videos, and so on.
Even after 20+ years of email marketing there is no clear playbook for a reactivation campaign. As I considered this, I came to one important conclusion: a big limiting factor is the price of email. Even though emails offer better RoI than all other marketing channels, when it comes to reactivation, the cost per email can be a barrier. Here is why:
- Typical email pricing is 10c CPM (cost per thousand)
- Let’s say, one has a list of 100 email IDs for reactivation
- Assume each wave of 15 emails results in 1 activation (click to website/app)
- Thus 1500 emails sent (for 15c CPM) result in 1 activation
- At 15c cost per click, brands may find it cheaper to simply go in for new acquisition
- In all this, there is also the risk of domain reputation being negatively impacted
There is a better reactivation solution – microns with a different marketing playbook.